This Simple Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Recipe brings a twist to a classic by making sweet potatoes cooked alongside the chicken in the slow cooker! Everything is ready to sit down for dinner after a busy day.
The sweet potatoes are cooked separately, wrapped in foil, on their own “level” of the crockpot to keep them safely away from the (tasty) sauce – which you can totally drench them in later.
My husband wasn’t in the mood for sweet potatoes, so I used another potato we had in the pantry for his and seasoned it with a bit of salt and pepper. So, this is definitely picky-eater-friendly since it allows for some flexibility.
🍽️ Why This Recipe Works
Complete Meal: By adding sweet potatoes and chicken together you will end up with an entire meal with little effort!
Only 10 Minutes Prep: I love meals that I can toss in the slow cooker and pretty much forget about. This is one of those and it’s perfection.
Frugal: There is no need to spend an arm and a leg to make dinner. This inexpensive meal will feed the family without hurting your wallet.
The ingredients in this recipe are really simple, and you probably already have them in your pantry and refrigerator.
Chicken Breast: You’ll need some boneless skinless chicken breasts.
Seasonings: We use a combination of garlic, cumin, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
Hickory BBQ Sauce: We love the flavor of Hickory BBQ sauce. You can use any barbecue sauce that you enjoy, and it will turn out perfectly.
Potatoes: Two Potatoes cut in half or quartered (1/2 potato per person)
Step One: Mix BBQ Sauce, Brown Sugar, Cumin, Minced Garlic, Onion Powder, and Salt & Pepper together in the slow cooker.
Step Two: Add in fresh boneless, skinless chicken breast (boneless, skinless chicken thighs would work as well and are usually less expensive).
Step Three: Cook on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours or LOW for 7 to 8 hours. Time will vary a bit depending on the thickness of the chicken and your particular slow cooker.
If Adding Sweet Potatoes:
Step One: Cut sweet potatoes in half (or in quarters – see recommendation below) and pierce with a fork several times. Flavor with seasonings of your choice and wrap tightly in foil, I like to double wrap the potatoes so the sauce doesn’t find its way in! Place in the potatoes on top of the chicken, close the lid, and cook along with the chicken.
Step Two: Sweet potatoes are so versatile, so I recommend seasoning however you’d like! But if you’re curious on how I seasoned mine, here’s what I used:
- Half packet of Truvia
- Salt + Pepper
When it’s done, I added a pat of butter when serving.
Note: If you are cooking for only four hours, I recommend quartering the sweet potatoes rather than halving them so they cook more quickly!
📌 Expert Tips
- Once everything is ready, I pop a bag of green beans in the microwave and let that cook while I plate the potatoes, chicken (and ladle lots of sauce over the chicken!)
- If you’re not a fan of green beans, try some broccoli, corn on the cob, or your favorite quick salad!
Sometimes, when I am feeling a little wild, I will add in some additional ingredients or prepare it a bit differently. Try some of these ideas:
- Bacon – There are very few recipes out there that aren’t better when you add some bacon! Cook up some slices of bacon and add them to the top of the chicken when it’s almost done. It’s so yummy and adds another element to the dish.
- Green Onions – After the chicken has cooked, sprinkle some diced green onion all over the top of it. Not only does it add color, but it also adds some extra flavor too.
- Chicken Thighs – If you are out of chicken breasts or you prefer the texture and flavor of chicken thighs, swap them out. I use boneless skinless thighs from time to time.
- Carrots – Wrap some carrots in foil and cook them like you do the potatoes. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper. They taste amazing with some of the sauce drizzled on top right before eating.
- White Sugar – If you have found yourself scrambling through the cabinet because you happened to run out of brown sugar, it’s okay! We have all been there, and I have found that switching it for white sugar is still good. Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses.
Yes, you can use frozen chicken when making this recipe. It’s always best to thaw it before cooking it in the slow cooker. There are mixed reviews on whether it’s safe to cook chicken from frozen in a crockpot. I always recommend thawing the meat first, so there is no worry. No matter which way you decide to go, make sure that the chicken is at least 165 degrees before you eat it.
No, there is no need to brown the chicken before cooking it in the Crock Pot. There are other cuts of meat that, when browned, enhances the flavor, but that is not the case with chicken. If anything, pre-cooking it would dry it out and not give you that tasty, juicy meat you love and enjoy.
No, it’s not necessary to add water when cooking the chicken. Because of the way that a slow cooker holds steam in the pot, you don’t need to add any extra liquid. My recipe for calls for adding sauce, but no additional liquid is needed.
Yes, this BBQ chicken is fantastic when you make it ahead of time. It will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator, so that’s plenty of time if you are making a huge batch for a party.
It’s also great for meal planning! You can make up a couple of batches, put it in single-serving trays, and have a quick lunch or easy dinner option.
Another option is to freeze the cooked barbecue chicken. As long as it’s kept airtight, it will last 2-4 months in the freezer. Thaw it the night before you want to eat it, and you should be good to go. Heat it up in the microwave for a couple of minutes and enjoy!
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Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
- 3 lbs Chicken Breast
- 18 oz Hickory BBQ sauce substitute your favorite
- ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar packed
- 2 tbsp Garlic minced
- 1 tbsp p Cumin
- 1 tbsp Onion Powder
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 3 Sweet Potatoes cut in half
- Spray the slow cooker with non stick spray.
- Mix BBQ sauce, brown sugar, cumin, garlic, onion powder and salt and pepper together in the slow cooker.
- Add skinless, boneless chicken breast (thighs work great here as well and are less expensive).
- Cut the sweet potatoes in half and pierce with a fork several times. Flavor with seasonings of your choice and wrap tightly with foil. Double wrap the potatoes so the sauce doesn't find it's way inside. Place it the crockpot on top of the chicken, close the lid, and cook along with the chicken.
- Cook on HIGH for 4-5 or LOW for 7-8 hours or until chicken is fully cooked through.